4 Ways To Wisely Spend Time Between Philadelphia Tenants

Ways to Spend Time Between Philly Tenants

Finding out your rental property is about to be vacant is not something you want to hear.

However, vacancies are a reality that all property owners must contend with, even if you have enlisted the help of the best property management company in Philadelphia.

That said, vacancies don’t have to be seen as the worst thing that can happen.

In fact, if you utilize your time between tenants wisely, you may actually do yourself some favors and make your rental property business that much more successful in the process.

Here’s a look at some of the best ways you can spend your time between tenants in order to make your property more appealing and valuable for the next tenants that sign a lease agreement with you.

 

Things to Do With Your Time Between Tenants

If your Philadelphia rental has gone vacant, take advantage of the time that has been afforded to you.

1. Transfer the Utilities

Transfer Utilities Between Philly Tenants

Once your tenants leave your rental property, they will be turning off all utilities such as the water, gas, and electric.

It is in your best interest to have those utilities immediately transferred into your name to avoid any reactivation fees the state or county may charge you.

Make sure you know the exact date your tenants are leaving so that you don’t end up paying their last bill.

In addition, make sure the new tenants place the utilities in their name on move-in day so that you don’t end up overpaying on the other end of your vacancy.

 

2. Start Cleaning

Whether your property management company handles the cleaning of your vacant properties, you hire a cleaning service to do it for you, or you like to take care of it yourself, you should get to cleaning right away.

Your previous tenants may not have cleaned your property as you would have liked, and there’s no better time than the present to get it back in shape.

Starting the cleaning process early will benefit you in several ways.

To start, it will ensure that your property is ready to go once you find new tenants.

Underestimating the amount of time it takes to clean an entire rental property from top to bottom can leave you scrambling, which may mean your property is not ready for your new tenants come move-in day.

In addition, the longer you leave dirt and grime, the more build-up you’re likely to see. By jumping on cleaning quickly, you avoid spending even more time down the line scrubbing through those extra layers of filth.

Lastly, performing a thorough deep cleaning of your rental property will reveal any maintenance or repair issues that need tending to that you may have otherwise missed.

This will keep you ahead of the game, since finding these issues early will afford you time to get them properly resolved.

 

3. Perform Upgrades

Perform Upgrades to Your Philly Rental Between Tenants

After you have cleaned your rental, you will be able to take a step back and evaluate it as a whole, with no distractions.

This is the perfect time for you to assess where your property could use some upgrades.

Upgrading your property, especially if you haven’t done so in a few years, can add a lot of value to it, and help garner you higher rent rates that your property manager will be able to help you determine.

Here are some great suggestions:

Patch and Paint

With no tenants residing in your property, no furniture in the way, and no pictures hanging up, you have the time to care for the walls properly.

Patch any holes you find – even the small ones left behind from nails.

In addition, consider giving your walls a fresh coat of paint.

Maybe even change up the color if it hasn’t been changed in a while. Choose a light, neutral color that will appeal to a large tenant pool, and will make your property feel inviting.

 

Flooring

Now is also a great time to repair, refinish, or replace any old, damaged flooring in your property. You don’t want worn out carpet with stains to discourage high quality tenants from leasing your property from you.

You also don’t want to have an unappealing house that doesn’t fit modern times.

With so many flooring options available to meet all budget needs, there is bound to be a great choice for you.

 

Landscaping

Don’t forget that the exterior of your rental property is the first thing prospective tenants will see when they check out your property.

Your previous tenants may not have tended to the landscaping as well as you wanted them to while they leased from you.

That’s why jumping in and taking care of this now, while no one is living in your property, is so helpful.

This is also a perfect time to upgrade your backyard oasis so that you can have yet another reason to entice a high quality tenant to lease from you.

 

4. Seek Out New Tenants

Seek Out New Tenants Philly Rental

Once you find out your current tenants will be leaving your rental, you and your Philadelphia property manager should begin the tenant screening process.

Although it may seem early to start, you don’t want to spend your time transferring utilities, cleaning your property from top to bottom, making repairs, and renovating it for added value, only to have it sit empty for a few more months afterwards, all because you don’t have a new tenant.

Starting the screening process early is a proactive use of your time.

In fact, even if you find a tenant before the property is ready for move-in, you can easily let potential tenants know when the property will be ready, and have them move in then.

 

Though rental property vacancies are definitely an inconvenience for any property owner, there is a way to turn them into a positive time. You cannot avoid the fact that at some point, your rental will be empty, so why not make the best of it?

Employing Philadelphia’s best property management company, Bay Management Group, to help you manage your property vacancies is yet another way you can spend your time wisely between tenants.

We have highly qualified contractors on-hand to help you with any repairs or upgrades you want to make. We also have a strict tenant screening process in place so that only the best tenants move in and pay you the highest rent rate possible.

So, if you have rental property in the Philadelphia area, contact Bay Management Group today. We can help you prepare for property vacancies and provide advice as to how to best utilize your time while your property is empty.


The Ultimate Safety Checklist for Your Bethesda Rental Property

Ultimate Safety Checklist For Your Bethesda Rental Property

Tenants expect, and have a legal right to, a safe, secure, and healthy place of living when they lease from you.

This means you have an obligation to keep your tenants safe inside your investment property, secure from outside intrusions, and protected against any health concerns.

Unfortunately, if you don’t take the time to thoroughly inspect your Bethesda rental property regularly, issues tend to creep up and accidents happen.

However, a lot of that is preventable with routine property inspections, and a little bit of knowledge about how to keep your property safe for your tenants.

Enlisting the help of Bethesda property management is one great way to tackle rental property safety.

However, there are things you can do on your own to ensure your tenants feel safe while leasing your property.

 

Rental Property Safety Checklist

In the past, we have discussed extensively how to keep your tenants safe while residing in your rental property.

In fact, we even suggested that using the knowledge, experience, and maintenance crew a high quality property management company provides is the best way to keep your tenants safe, secure, and happy.

That said, empowering yourself with the details can be helpful when it comes to rental property safety.

And, while your property manager is well equipped with information regarding Maryland rules and regulations as they pertain to rental property safety, brushing up on your knowledge using this helpful rental property safety checklist is highly recommended.

 

1. Exterior

Check the Safety Of The Exterior of Your Bethesda Rental Property

The exterior of your rental property is not normally the first place that pops into mind when you think about tenant safety.

However, that doesn’t mean that you should ignore the safety of this part of your rental.

Here are some of the most crucial safety issues you and your property manager should concern yourselves with when it comes to the exterior of your rental:

  • The entire framework of your property should be sound and secure
  • All exterior portions of your property – the roof, foundation, and other exterior surfaces – must keep rodents and pests out at all times
  • Walls should have no visible holes, breaks, or rotting timber that would allow dampness to enter the property during rainy seasons
  • Roofs must have adequate drainage of rainwater to prevent structure wall deterioration
  • Any exterior surfaces made of metal or wood must be painted, weatherproofed, and sealed to prevent deterioration
  • Awnings, stairways, and overhangs must be secure at all times to keep them from falling, and also to protect them from decay and rust
  • Stairs, porches, balconies, and fire escapes must be able to handle their anticipated loads without collapsing
  • Windows, doors, and frames must prevent wind from entering the property, as well as rainwater and rodents, or other pests
  • Any windows used for ventilation and/or emergency escapes must easily open from the inside and be held in place using proper hardware
  • All exterior stairways and exits must be illuminated to discourage intrusion
  • Lighted pathway to the house for your tenants
  • All exterior door locks must be tightly secure and in good repair
  • From April 1 to December 1, it is your duty to provide tight-fitting screens for all doors, windows, or other openings used for ventilation

 

In addition, your Bethesda rental property may undergo inspection by the County Building Engineer.

If that happens, inspectors will require you to fix the following issues if anything is missing or deteriorating:

  • Any exterior features that create an unsafe condition for your tenants
  • Rotting of exterior walls or vertical supports that hold the property together
  • Deterioration of roofs or other horizontal features, such as balconies
  • Issues with exterior chimneys
  • Plaster or masonry that is crumbling, falling off, or otherwise deteriorating
  • Degraded weatherproofing on any exterior walls, roofs, or foundations
  • Any broken windows or doors

 

As you can see, Maryland does a good job of ensuring that your tenants will be safe from both the obvious safety and health issues that threaten the exterior of your rental property, as well as the lesser-known issues landlords may not know to look for during property inspections.

 

2. Interior

Check the Safety of the Interior of Your Rental Property

It can sometimes be easier to spot safety and health issues on the interior of your rental property.

However, it is always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the things the authorities are going to look for during property inspections, to make sure everything is safe and secure.

While there are many places to check on the interior of your rental, today we are going to focus on the plumbing, as there are plenty of rules and regulations concerning the plumbing:

  • Kitchen, bathroom, and toilet floors must be significantly waterproof, for sanitation reasons
  • All interior structures found with rodent or pest infestations must be treated in a way that is not harmful to your tenant’s health
  • There must be a separate room with a toilet and cold running water that affords your tenants privacy
  • Nearby each toilet there must be a sink with hot and cold running water
  • Each property must have at least one room equipped with a bathtub or shower that has hot and cold water running water that affords your tenants privacy
  • All fixtures, vents, drains, and water supply lines must work properly and be free of any leaks or defects
  • Plumbing fixtures must not only work properly, but must avoid inviting rodents or pests in, as well as never emit dangerous or offensive gases and odors
  • Hot water must run from each faucet at a temperature of at least 110 degrees Fahrenheit

 

Although this may seem tedious, it is important to know what is expected in your rental property when it comes to plumbing issues.

3. Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Check the Safety of Your Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors In Your Rental Property

There is sometimes confusion over whether maintenance of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms are the responsibility of the landlord or the tenant.

 

Smoke Detectors

Property owners in Bethesda must install at least one electronic smoke detector in each residential property or unit.

Additionally, properties built before 1976 must include a battery-powered backup.

Every three years, property owners must submit written verification by a licensed electrician or the County Fire Department and Licenses that the smoke detector has been installed as required by law.

This verification will also certify that the detector is in good working order.

 

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

When it comes to carbon monoxide alarms, Maryland takes a hard stance.

To start, all rental properties that have fuel-burning equipment installed must have a working carbon monoxide alarm.

Each alarm must be installed in the common area of the property.

In addition, your tenants must be able to hear the alarm that is installed in the bedroom areas.

It is important to note that the carbon monoxide alarm sound must be easy to distinguish from the smoke detector’s sound.

Lastly, upon installing and testing each carbon monoxide alarm in your rental property, you are required to provide written documentation to at least one adult tenant in your rental instructing them how to maintain and test the alarm.

Have this tenant read and sign the document and keep it for your records.

Tenants leasing from you must do the following:

  • Test and maintain carbon monoxide alarms according to the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Replace batteries when needed
  • Notify you, via written certified mail, of any malfunctions

 

If you receive written notification that the carbon monoxide alarm is malfunctioning, you are then responsible for the repairing or replacing it.

 

Ensuring the safety and health of your Bethesda rental property and, more importantly, your tenants is serious.

It is your legal responsibility to make sure that your investment property is up to code and does not present any safety issues to those leasing from you.

And, one of the best ways to do this is to educate yourself about the state and local laws.

In addition, by regularly inspecting your rental property, you will be able to make sure that any maintenance, safety, or health concerns are addressed quickly, and do not affect your rental property business.

Better yet, by contacting a property management company such as Bay Management Group, you will have access to knowledgeable property managers and a reliable maintenance crew that can help you prevent any major safety issues, and can repair any minor maintenance issues that pop up during your tenant’s lease term.


5 Aberdeen Rental Property Repairs That You Should Not DIY

Rental Property Repairs Do Not DIY

These days it may feel like any do-it-yourself projects is possible to undertake.

With internet videos showing you step-by-step how to complete even the most complicated home repairs, it all looks so easy, not to mention more affordable than enlisting the help of a professional.

While the thought of saving money is definitely tempting, the truth is, there are certain DIY rental property repair jobs that are too complicated, too dangerous, and oftentimes just as pricey (if not more) to do yourself.

And, while you are responsible for most of your Aberdeen rental property’s maintenance repairs, that doesn’t mean you actually have to do the work yourself.

Let’s take a look at some common do-it-yourself home repairs that should not be handled by inexperienced DIY-ers.

Rather, the below projects should be left to those that, without a doubt, know what they are doing.

 

5 DIY Projects Better Left to Professionals

DIY Projects to Leave to Professionals

Your Aberdeen property manager is sure to tell you there are some DIY repairs that any successful rental property owner should know how to do.

For example, repairing a hole in the wall, being able to fix your property’s gutters, and even being able to handle common toilet issues are all good skills to have as a landlord.

That said, there are some property repairs that are better left to the professionals because they are typically more than you can handle, and dangerous to both you and your tenants if done incorrectly.

1. Electrical Issues

Small DIY projects, such as installing a ceiling fan and changing out a light switch, are typically okay for the average DIY-er.

Just make sure to always turn the power off before starting an electrical repair to avoid shocking yourself.

However, when you get into electrical repairs that require extending circuits, or running new electrical cables, you face some serious issues if you don’t know what you are doing.

With electrical projects, the safety risks heighten.

You can easily start a fire instantly, create a fire hazard that may spark later and threaten the safety of your tenants, or even electrocute yourself in the process of completing the work.

You may also be performing electrical work that requires a permit. Without the proper permit, not only do you face severe penalties and fines that will affect your rental property business, you become liable for performing work not completed by a professional.

Lastly, trying to carry out electrical work in your Aberdeen rental without truly knowing what you are doing can be trickier than you might expect.

You can easily overload your power outlets and create more electrical issues throughout the property, or even wire something incorrectly, adding to the fire and safety concerns.

The Electrical Safety Foundation reports that 140,000 electrical fires happen each year, with 400 deaths resulting from electrical issues.

Therefore, as tempting as those do-it-yourself YouTube videos can be, it is not recommended you attempt to handle any major electrical repairs in your rental property without the help of a certified electrician.

 

2. Roof Repairs

Roof Repairs Are Better Left to Professionals

In the past, we have discussed the necessary steps to take, should your rental property need roofing repairs.

And if you recall, we recommended enlisting the help of your property manager and professional roofing contractor when it comes to dealing with significant roof damage.

Repairing your rental’s roof takes a lot of experience and knowledge that the average person just doesn’t have.

In fact, what seems like a simple roof leak may actually be more serious than you originally thought.

You need to identify the source of the roof leak; repair the shingles, flashing, and vents; match materials to your existing roof; and utilize expensive equipment to get the job done.

In addition, you need to avoid creating more damage in the process, which will lead to more repairs, more expenses, and more time to get the roof repaired.

And don’t forget the danger that working on the roof of your rental property poses, especially to a novice DIY-er.

One small misstep or slip, and you might come tumbling down off your roof, with roofing materials and tools following.

The injuries you can expect to sustain from a roof fall are just not worth the risk.

 

3. Floor Refinishing

Leave The Floor Refinishing To The Professionals

Improving your Aberdeen rental property’s existing hardwood flooring is always a good idea, especially if it has been a while since you gave your property’s flooring some TLC.

Plus, tenants love the thought of having beautiful, sturdy, and long-lasting hardwood flooring in the property they are leasing.

You may think that sanding your property’s wood flooring is a simple process: Rent the sanding machine, get to sanding, and voila, good as new, right?

Wrong.

There are licensed carpenters that won’t go near even their own home’s hardwood floors with a sander, preferring to leave it to the flooring professionals.

All it takes is a little extra sanding on one spot to create a severe divot in your stunning hardwood flooring.

These divots are nearly impossible to fill, and if you do this in several spots across the floor, you are looking at having to re-do the entire space with new flooring.

 

4. Wall Removal

It may seem like a fun weekend project to knock out an existing wall in your rental property in order to open up the living space, combine two rooms to create one bigger one, or even get rid of an awkwardly placed wall that makes your rental seemed cramped.

However, removing a wall in your rental property is anything but a simple DIY weekend project.

If you don’t know what you are doing, and you attempt to take out a wall in your rental property, you could bring your entire rental property down instantly.

Worse yet, you may unknowingly create an unstable foundation that can come crashing down later, perhaps on your tenants.

Not only can removing a wall on your own ruin the framework of your property, but you also risk tapping into a water or gas line, which adds to the danger – and expensive renovation bill – you will face.

 

5. Tree Cutting and Trimming

Tree Cutting and Trimming Is Better for Professionals To Do

Do-it-yourself home repairs are not limited to the interior of your rental property.

In fact, tree cutting and trimming is something that many DIY-ers attempt to master themselves.

Although it is tempting to forgo hiring a professional landscaper to handle your rental property’s tree growth, there are several reasons to rethink this DIY project before even getting started.

To start, the equipment needed to bring down large trees and branches is expensive to rent if you don’t already own it.

And then there’s the element of danger.

The fact that you will need to climb up a large ladder to reach the areas that need pruning poses a serious fall risk.

A small misstep, slip, or branch firing back at you with a vengeance can land you in the hospital with serious injuries.

A professional landscaper experienced in tree pruning should handle any tree that requires cutting or trimming. This is especially true if the trees exceed 20’, or are near roads, other properties, or electrical wires.

 

If you have a repair that seems like too much to handle, even for an experienced DIY-er, it probably is.

That’s why it is best to enlist the help of an experienced professional.

Professionals are liable for their work and any additional damage they cause, and are prepared to make the end result look flawless, so your Aberdeen rental property only benefits from the repairs.

It is also a good idea to receive help from a property management company, such as Bay Management Group, for all your maintenance needs.

We handle issues ranging from minor property repairs to serious emergencies, such as floods or electrical issues. And, we do so using our 24/7 maintenance crew.

Benefiting from our licensed and insured contractors, you can rest assured any rental property repairs you need performed will be done safely, timely, and affordably.

Contact Bay Management Group today so you and your tenants don’t have to worry about costly maintenance problems, safety, or health issues.


5 Surefire Ways to Get Your Tenants to Pay Rent On Time

Ways to Get Your Catonsville Tenant to Pay Rent On Time

Dealing with late rent payments is not something any rental property owner wants to be faced with.

It can be challenging to confront those that owe you money, even if you are in the right position to do so.

You may find it is easy to give in and let a late payment slide, especially when your Catonsville tenant has a seemingly legitimate excuse for being late.

However, if you want to become a successful landlord, not only do you need to learn how to deal with late paying tenants, you need to learn how to get your tenants to pay their rent on time in the first place.

After all, late and non-paying tenants are one of the biggest costs facing rental property owners.

Your Catonsville tenant may not feel like paying rent on time every month is a big deal, but for you, collecting rent in full on time, every time, is one of the most important things you can for the success of your rental property business.

That’s why today we are going to share with you some of the best ways to encourage your tenants to pay their rent on time.

 

5 Ways to Motivate Your Catonsville Tenants to Pay Rent On Time

1. Clear Communication

Clear Communication is Key to Getting Your Tenants to Pay Rent on Time

One of the best ways to get your Catonsville tenants to pay their rent on time is to communicate the importance of paying rent when they move in.

As you and your Maryland property manager go over the lease agreement with your new tenants, it is a good idea to go over every lease provision in the agreement, especially the ones concerning rent, due dates, late fees, and consequences for late rent payments.

Better yet, to ensure your tenants understand what you are communicating with them, it is a great idea to have them initial each page of the lease agreement as you and your property manager explain the rent collection process.

From there, distribute a copy of the signed lease agreement to all parties that initialed the document so they can use it for later reference.

Lastly, include the entire rent collection policy in the tenant welcome package you give your new tenants with information regarding how to pay, when to pay, and how much to pay in rent each month.

This is especially helpful if you require online rent payments.

By creating a document that details every step in the rent collection process, you guarantee that your tenants understand their obligations, and are not confused about the process.

Plus, signed documents give you solid proof you explained the process in the beginning, should you end up in a court dispute with a non-paying tenant.

 

2. Enforce a Late Fee

Although mentioned briefly above, enforcing a late fee is worth explaining further.

Late fees are strong motivators for getting your Catonsville tenants to pay their rent on time. After all, your tenants don’t want to pay more than they already have to in order to live in your rental property.

Have your Maryland rental property management company draw up a lease agreement provision that explains the late fee process. Make sure that the fee does not exceed 5% of the total rent due, as per Maryland law.

In addition, follow these property management tips for implementing a late rent payment fee:

  • Clearly define the grace period in the lease agreement, if you are allowing one
  • Avoid waiving the late fees if possible to avoid repeat late payments by the same tenant
  • Consider a progressive fee schedule so you get your rent, and any late payments accrued, as quickly as possible

 

Just knowing that a late fee will apply to any late payments can be a great motivator for getting your Maryland tenant to pay their rent on time.

 

3. Offer a Discount

Offering Tenants a Discount Will Help Them Pay Rent on Time

On the flip side of charging late fees for those that pay their rent late, another way to encourage timely rent payments is to offer a discount for those that pay their rent early.

If your Catonsville tenant has their rent ready to go a day early, giving them a discount is a nice way of appreciating that they pay their rent on time each month.

Plus, this may even help boost your lease renewal rate come the end of your tenant’s lease term – tenants that receive discounts may be more apt to want to continue to lease from you.

If you are worried about discounted rent rates affecting your bottom line, there is an easy solution: Set your rental property’s rent rate approximately $15-$25 higher than you would normally set it.

Then, when a tenant pays on time, the discount equals a normal rent rate, and you don’t lose any income in the process.

Keep in mind, however, that if you want to offer rent discounts to your early paying tenants, be sure to talk this strategy over with your Maryland property manager to ensure you are making a sound financial decision.

Setting rent rates is central to your success as a property owner, and the last thing you want to do is set a rent rate that is too low, and offer discounts on top of that.

 

4. Report All Late Payments

Did you know that you are now able to report all late rent payments to the credit bureaus in charge of calculating people’s credit scores?

Well, you can.

People do not like to mess with their credit scores if they can help it.

Credit scores are pulled for many things, such as leasing a home, buying a car, and applying for loans or credit cards. And, keeping a clean credit score is more important than ever these days.

If you inform your tenants prior to moving in that you will report them to the credit bureaus for any late rent payments, they may be less likely to miss a rent due date.

 

5. Be Consistent

Be Consistent With Rules to Get Tenants to Pay Rent on Time

The last thing to remember if you want to entice your Maryland tenants to pay their rent on time is to be consistent.

You must always remain professional, as leasing rental properties is a business, not a hobby.

In addition, you should enforce all of the rules you have outlined in your lease agreement consistently with all of your tenants, no matter the excuse a single tenant provides for paying their rent late.

Not only does staying consistent prevent repeat problems with late rent payments, it helps to preserve your reputation as a rental property owner and as always, will help you defend your actions should you end up in a legal battle with a tenant over late payments, late fees, or even non-payment of rent.

 

Motivating your tenants to pay their rent on time is not always an easy task, even if you follow the above-mentioned tips and tricks.

That’s why having a highly qualified Maryland property management company such as Bay Management Group on your side is so helpful.

We are knowledgeable about all of Maryland’s rental property rules and regulations regarding rent payments, late fees, and even the eviction process, should a late payment situation go so far as to require eviction proceedings.

In addition, we know how to structure lease agreements so that your Catonsville tenants fully understand what is required of them when it comes to paying rent, and what they face should they decide to pay late.

If you own rental property in the Catonsville area and need help with the rent collection process, contact Bay Management Group today. We have the resources and the knowledge to help make rent collection as easy as possible.


10 Words To Avoid Using In Your Rental Property Listing

Top Words to Avoid In Your Anne Arundel Rental Property Listing

Facing the fact that your Anne Arundel rental property has recently become vacant is never fun.

However, vacancies are a part of being in the rental property business, and must be dealt with swiftly.

We have previously discussed on our blog some of the best advertising tips for filling your vacant rental property.

First of all, you should always use catchy headlines that describe your property in a unique way. In addition, you should include clear images that portray your rental in its best light, and always make sure that you accurately describe your property so interested tenants know exactly what you are offering.

However, when it comes to advertising your vacant property, you should also pay close attention to the words you use to describe your vacancy.

You don’t want to use words that are overly dramatic, but you also don’t want to find your vacancy ad lumped together with all of the other ads using words like “charming” and “nice.”

That’s why today we are going to take look at the most common words to avoid in your Anne Arundel rental property listing, in hopes that you garner the right kind of attention from high quality tenants interested in leasing your rental.

 

Vacancy Ad Words and Shortcuts to Avoid

There is more to a vacancy ad than simply describing the general specifications of your rental – square footage, location, number of bedrooms, etc.

In fact, writing an advertisement takes some skill if you want to attract the right people.

Thus, taking care to avoid using this list of words in your vacancy ad is going to help you fill your vacant property that much quicker.

 

1. Quality

Whether good or bad, everything holds a measure of quality.

Ultimately, what type of quality your rental property has – no matter how you phrase it – all comes down to what the prospective tenant thinks.

For example, if you state your rental has “high quality appliances,” what exactly does that mean?

Perhaps you mean they are all matching, they are energy efficient, or maybe they are just new, regardless of how they operate.

Avoid this word to avoid confusion, and instead use more specific words to describe your rental.

 

2. Abbreviations

Avoid Using Abbreviations For Your Rental Property Listings

As tempting as it can be, try to avoid using any kind of abbreviations.

This can confuse someone that is unfamiliar with them, and cause them look elsewhere for a rental that interests them.

Here are some of the most common abbreviations that relate to the rental property business that should not find their way into your vacancy ad:

  • Util: Utilities
  • Appl: Appliances
  • Sec: Security Deposit
  • Nwly Ren: Newly renovated
  • D/W: Dish washer
  • Balc: Balcony
  • FMR: First month’s rent

 

As you can see, all of these abbreviations closely relate to descriptions you might include in your rental property’s vacancy ad.

However, for the average person not in the property management business, some of these might be downright confusing.

If potential tenants don’t understand the lingo you are using, and don’t know what they will be getting out of your rental property, chances are high they will move on to the next ad they do understand, no matter how great your rental is.

 

3. Clean

Of course, your rental property is clean.

Why wouldn’t it be?

If this is the strongest descriptive word you have for your vacant property, you need to take a step back and wonder why that is.

Find something unique to say that expresses how your property is well taken care of.

 

4. Needs Repair

Never Use "Needs Repair" In Rental Property Listing

It is never a good thing to lie to potential tenants about the true status of your rental property.

Nor is it a good thing to come right out and say your rental “needs work.”

Before advertising your rental property as available, you should invest in repairing anything that needs repair. No high quality tenant is going to agree to move into a rental that needs a lot of fixing.

And, if you have an experienced property management group on hand helping you with your vacancy ad, they are likely to advise you to fix everything before advertising.

 

5. Cheap

This word immediately downgrades the quality of your rental.

If you are aiming to make your Anne Arundel rental seem like something more than a money pit, avoid using the word “cheap.”

If you are looking to promote the fact that your rent rates fall below that of your competition, consider using a gentler word such as “affordable.”

 

6. Unique

Avoid Using The Word "Unique" In Your Rental Property Listings

There is nothing inherently wrong with your rental property being described as “unique.”

In fact, it very well may be the most unique rental on the block.

However, this word is overused, and leaves much to the imagination.

Rather than state that your rental is “unique,” explain using more concise terms what makes it unique.

Your prospective tenants will appreciate the detail, and will become more interested once they find out why your rental is different from all of the rest.

 

7. Modern

This term is also overused in modern day rental listings, and as a result has lost a lot of its meaning.

If you are using the word “modern” to describe newly renovated sections of your rental’s kitchen or bathroom, instead say your rental’s kitchen or bathroom has been recently renovated.

Then go on to explain what makes your rental modern, according to you.

Using the word “modern” and leaving the details out is subjective, and may turn some interested tenants away unintentionally – their idea of what “modern” is may not be what your idea of it is.

And, if they don’t like “modern” things, your vacancy ad will be quickly dismissed.

 

8. Original

Do Not Use Word "Original" in Rental Property Listing

Just as you shouldn’t use the term “modern” to explain that your rental has been recently upgraded or renovated, you should not use the term “original” either.

Using a word like “original” has the potential to make interested tenants think your rental has never been updated, is likely falling apart at the seams, and is just plain old.

 

9. Fair Housing Act Terms

This is a touchy subject and can land you in some hot water if someone, somewhere becomes angered by the terms you use in your rental property ad.

Many advertisement platforms, such as Craigslist, have specific rules about the types of terms you are allowed to use in listings of any kind. And, your vacancy ads are no different.

In order to steer clear of violating the Fair Housing Act, avoid using these terms in your advertisements:

  • Walking Distance. This can be considered discriminatory to those who are unable to walk. If you are describing popular hotspots that are within walking distance of your rental, consider using terms such as “nearby” or “close to.”
  • There are many different types of people looking to lease your rental property. Some are groups of friends, others are students that just met and are trying to save on housing costs. And yes, some consist of a mother, father, and two children. Don’t alienate an entire population of people (and possibly discriminate against them) by using the term “family home” when describing your available rental property.

 

When it comes to drafting up a vacancy ad for your Maryland investment property, it is critical you don’t break the law in doing so, even if unknowingly.

This is where a knowledgeable Anne Arundel property management company comes in handy. They will understand the Fair Housing Act as it relates to rental properties, and know how to avoid illegally discriminating against a protected class.

 

10. Cozy

Stay Away From Using the Word "Cozy" In Your Rental Property Listing

“Cozy” emits a feeling of tiny and small, which many tenants are not interested in when it comes to their home.

This is especially true if the rent rate for your “cozy” rental property is not small.

Include the dimensions of your rental in square feet, and let interested tenants decide if the property is the right size for their needs.

In the meantime, come up with some other descriptive words to enhance your rental, not bring it down in size.

 

There is a lot that goes into drafting the perfect vacancy ad for your Anne Arundel rental property.

And, with a property management company like Bay Management Group helping you, your chances of placing a tenant in your property sooner rather than later increase dramatically.

We can help draw up an exciting vacancy ad that gets the right tenant pool interested in seeing your property. In addition, we advertise across multiple platforms – Craigslist, MLS, online classifieds, direct mail, and more – and boast an average tenant placement within 30 days or less of making your property available.

Contact Bay Management Group today and forget about the stress your vacant property has placed on you.

True, vacancies are a part of the rental property business, but at Bay Management Group, our aim is to lessen that stress as much as possible by promoting your vacant property and placing a good tenant in it as soon as possible.


4 Ways To Avoid Losing Good Tenants In Your Rental Property

Ways to Avoid Losing Good Tenants in Your Parkville Rental

With top notch tenants in your rental property and Parkville’s best property management company to do most of the work for you, you can enjoy sitting back, relaxing, and watching the rental income roll in.

However, that doesn’t mean you can get rid of the thought of vacant rental properties in the back of your mind.

Why is keeping your mind on that important?

Because high turnover rates and long rental property vacancies can cost you a lot of money.

Each tenant turnover that you experience comes with expenses related to advertising your now vacant property, cleaning and repairing the property for new tenants, tenant screening and lease drafting, and of course, any utilities you pay to have on between tenants.

That’s why today we are going to share with you some simple ways to avoid losing your good tenants, so that you truly can sit back, relax, and enjoy being a property owner.

 

Great Ways to Prevent Losing Your High Quality Parkville Tenant

In the past, we have given you some excellent tips for lowering turnover rates and improving profitability on your rental property.

But today, we are going to continue exploring how to hang onto good tenants that you want to keep in your rental property as long as possible.

 

1. Maintain a Friendly Relationship

Maintain A Friendly Relationship With Your Parkville Tenants

Whether you self-manage your rental, or enlist the help of a Parkville property management company, customer service should be a priority.

One of the best ways to forge a solid relationship with your tenant is to partake in person-to-person contact with your tenants throughout their lease term.

Your tenant does not want to feel you or your Parkville property manager are the type to lease a rental, and forget about them until lease renewal time.

Here are some great ways you can pop in and say “hello,” without crossing the professional boundary that should stay intact throughout your tenant’s lease term:

  • Be the one to personally deliver the tenant welcome package at the start of the lease term, even if your property management company handles the move-in process
  • Periodically ask your tenant for feedback via phone (or in person if they have time) to find out what would make them happier, and what (if anything) needs improvement
  • Show up to a scheduled maintenance or repair call, and observe how your maintenance crew handles their responsibilities while chatting with your tenant
  • Tag along with your property manager to all seasonal inspections to make sure your property is being well cared for, and that your tenants are satisfied

 

Stopping by every now and then will let your tenants know you really care, especially if you have entrusted your investment property to a property management company.

Putting a face to a name is a great way to build a solid relationship with your tenant, which come lease renewal time, will go a long way.

 

2. Don’t Violate Your Tenant’s Privacy

Though we just mentioned the importance of regularly interacting with your tenant in an effort to build a good relationship with them, it is equally important you do not violate your tenant’s right to privacy.

Just because you own the rental property your tenant resides in, does not mean you can come and go as you please.

In fact, if you show up unannounced, save for an emergency, you may find yourself guilty of trespassing.

Not to mention, your tenants will not be happy and will not want to stay living in your rental property if they feel like you are watching their every move.

If you are going to pop in for a legitimate reason to your rental property, make sure you provide proper notice to your tenant so they know you, or your property manager, are coming by.

Trust us, your tenants will appreciate this and feel more comfortable continuing to lease from you if you don’t bother them for every little thing.

 

3. Be Proactive When it Comes to Lease Renewals

Be Proactive In Your Lease Agreement Renewals

If you and your Parkville property management company did things correctly at the beginning of your tenant’s lease term, they should know the process for renewing a lease with you.

However, as time goes by, your tenant may forget when to expect a lease renewal notice, and may begin to feel antsy about whether they will be invited to renew with you or not.

Unfortunately, if your tenants are unsure as to whether they will be invited to sign a lease renewal with you, they may begin to look elsewhere for a place to live, as a backup plan.

And you never know, they might find a place they love just as much as your rental, and decide not to renew with you once the lease renewal comes their way.

The solution to this problem, and one of the best ways to keep ahold of your high quality tenant, is to stay proactive about the lease renewal process. This means giving them ample notice that you wish for them to stay another lease term.

Not only does this give them the assurance you want them to continue leasing your rental property, if they decline you may have enough time to convince them stay.

If your current tenant is a good one, and you want them to stay, despite their declining to sign a lease renewal, ask them what you can to do to get them to change their mind about leaving.

While there may be nothing you can do, this at least opens up the dialogue and can boost your chances of catering to a small need you never knew your tenant had.

Holding onto a good tenant may be worth a small rent decrease, an upgraded appliance, or a bend in a lease provision such as the no pets policy.

 

4. Offer a Longer Lease Term

Another great way to avoid losing a good tenant is to offer a longer lease term come lease renewal time.

Sometimes your tenant may know they want to continue leasing from you for a long period of time, but fear the dreaded rent increase that is a possibility every time the lease renews.

By offering a longer lease term at a fixed rent rate, you ensure a consistent monthly cash flow, and your tenant benefits from not having to pay more rent every single year.

It’s a win-win situation for both you and your tenant.

 

There are plenty of ways to cater to your good tenants, and encourage them to continue leasing from you time and again.

It is just a matter of doing your job well, utilizing the help of an experienced property management company such as Bay Management Group, and making sure your tenant is happy throughout their lease term.

If you own rental property in the Parkville area, and want help managing your investment in an effort to decrease the workload of self-managing your property, as well as increase the chances your current tenants will renew their lease from you, get in touch with Bay Management Group today.

We can help place high quality tenants in your rental property from the start by implementing our strict tenant screening process and only accepting the very best tenants from the list of those interested in your property.


The Top 5 Ways to Collect Rent From Your Bowie Tenants

Top 5 Ways to Collect Rent From Your Bowie Tenant

Collecting rent from your tenants in Bowie, MD is one of the most important tasks assigned to your property management company.

After all, once rent is collected from your tenants, you get paid.

Today, we are going to look at some of the steps required to collect rent from your tenants, as well as some ways to go about collecting rent.

But first, we will review the more traditional ways of collecting rent, for a quick refresher.

 

How to Collect Rent From your Tenants

How to Collect Rent From Your Bowie Tenant

Here is a look at some of the best ways to collect rent from your tenants:

  1. Online. Allowing tenants to access an online portal to pay their monthly rent is typically considered the best way. It is convenient for your tenant, is secure, and it guarantees that the funds submitted are going to be deposited into your bank account.
  2. Check or Money Order. Though some Bowie property managers prefer not to accept personal checks (unless mailed in), a large majority of tenants still prefer to pay with paper checks. If you do not accept paper checks, money orders are a safe and simple alternative.
  3. Direct Deposit. There may be instances where you want your tenant to transfer their rent from their bank account directly into your bank account. Though not very common, it is definitely secure.
  4. Mail-in Payments. You can always go the more traditional route, and allow your tenants to mail their rent to either you or your property management company. However, the risk of your tenant’s check getting lost in the mail exists, and can cause a delay in your getting paid.
  5. In Person. There is also the option of having your tenants drop their rent off in person at your house (which is always risky) or at your property management company’s office. Again, this requires a personal check, a money order, or cash (which is never recommended).

 

As you can see, there are a number of ways to collect rent from your tenants.

But the question still remains: what are the steps to collecting rent from your tenants?

 

The Rent Collection Process

Rent Collection Process in Bowie, Maryland

The process of collecting rent from your tenants is rather simple if you employ Bowie’s top property management company to do it for you.

Here is a rundown of how your property manager should approach collecting rent from your tenants:

  1. Draft an airtight lease agreement outlining the rent rate, due date, and consequences for paying late
  2. Inform the tenant prior to move-in of the rent collection procedures, including the methods for submitting payment
  3. Collect rent each month through the approved methods
  4. Properly document all rent payments collected each month for tenants, property owners, and the IRS to see
  5. If a rent payment is late, begin the eviction process immediately – serve proper notice, file eviction paperwork, and prepare for legal proceedings if necessary

 

Although the process for collecting rent from your tenants is relatively simple, it is critical to not underestimate its importance.

This is especially true when it comes to dealing with late rent payments.

If, by chance, your tenants fail to pay their rent on time, your property management company should step in and handle the situation right away. You should not let your tenants feel that they can get away with paying their rent late.

After all, this is your rental property business, and you should treat it as such.

 

Additional Rent Collection Methods

Pay Rent Online Via ACH

There are several ways you can collect rent from your tenants during the course of their tenancy.

And, while some ways are recommended, such as collecting payments online, there are additional options that you can provide your tenants, if the situation arises.

 

Local Drop Box

This method is similar to allowing your tenants to drop their rent payments off in person to your property management company. However, this method affords both your property manager and tenant some convenience when it comes to the actual time of day that the payment is dropped off.

Rather than hand in a rent payment in person during regular business hours, having a drop box available makes dropping off rent at any time of the day possible.

Many of your tenants may work during the day and may need to drop rent off after-hours. Allowing them this option of a drop box may reduce late or delayed payments.

 

ACH Payments

ACH stands for Automated Clearing House, and involves the automatic collection of rent payments online.

Using an ACH payment service allows you to collect payments from your tenants electronically either as one-time payments, or as recurring payments by directly debiting your tenant’s savings or checking account.

This method is secure and prevents your tenants from having to use e-checks or credit/debit cards.

In addition, this method can be more cost effective than collecting payments via credit or debit card.

Why is that?

Because accepting credit and debit cards usually involves additional transaction fees in exchange for using the online rent collection service.

Lastly, collecting rent using the ACH payment method is typically faster than any online method, because payment is directly debited from your tenant’s bank account.

Processing this type of transaction is quick and easy.

 

PayNearMe

If your tenant does not have access to a computer, or prefers to pay in person but your property management company does not accept drop-off rent payments or does not have a drop box available, you can always consider offering them a PayNearMe option.

PayNearMe is a way to let your tenants pay their rent in cash to a local 7-Eleven or other business that collaborates with the PayNearMe program.

Using a unique card assigned to them for making rent payments, your tenant simply goes to the local PayNearMe business, pays their rent at the counter, and receives a receipt for payment. In response, you are immediately notified that your tenant has paid their rent in full.

This option is often much easier than getting a money order and delivering it, or mailing a check (complete with envelope, address, and stamp), and is a great solution for those that do not have online payment access.

 

Collecting rent from your tenants is one of the most important things you will do as a property owner.

And, if you enlist the help of Bowie’s best property management company, you will be placing the responsibility of rent collection in your property manager’s hands, which is a big weight off of your back.

If you own rental property and need a reliable property management company to aid you in the collection of rent from your tenants, contact Bay Management Group today.

We can help you with every step of collecting rent – from the drafting of the lease agreement, complete with rent payment details to the eviction process (if need be) – so that you don’t have to worry about any of the stresses involved in collecting money from your tenants.


Top 12 Real Estate Agents to Help You Find a Rental Property in Philly

Finding a great real estate agent in Philadelphia can easily become overwhelming; after all, there are over 1,500 Realtors® in the Philly region to choose from. With so many options, it can be difficult to figure out where to start.

To help you in your search, we have combed the Philadelphia real estate market to help you identify the best agents in the area.

We have high standards when it comes to selecting our top picks for agents because we know that buyers like you want agents with proven records of success.

To determine our top picks for real estate agents in the area, our experts analyzed them based on the following qualities to ensure they exceed your expectations:

  • Experience
  • Services
  • Reputation
  • Awards
  • Connections
  • Reviews
  • And more

And, because of our stringent selection process, only 12 high-quality real estate agents made the cut.

 

Top 12 Real Estate Agents

1. Mike McCann

Mike McCann Real Estate Agent Philly

Mike McCann is known around town as “The Real Estate Man.” He and his team have extensive knowledge about the real estate market, and are dedicated to providing property owners seeking rentals the best customer service.

McCann has all of these great real estate agent qualities:

  • Passion for the diverse properties Philly has to offer
  • Experience helping you to buy, sell, or invest in properties
  • Commitment to finding you the ideal property and never settling for less

Mike McCann has been honored as a top-selling Realtor® for more than 30 years, and is proud to work with the highly reputable Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices as well as Fox & Roach Realtors®.

 

2. Jeanne Whipple

Jeanne Whipple Real Estate Agent Philly

Jeanne Whipple, co-founder of the Philly Home Girls, has what it takes to get you the perfect rental property. Whipple loves feeling rested and recharged at her home in Fishtown, and hopes the same for all of her clients. And she certainly has the credentials to help you find your next rental home. Whipple boasts top-ranking awards from the likes of Coldwell Banker Preferred, USAA, and the Philadelphia Business Journal, to name a few.

Whipple brings to the table the following:

  • Professional insight into the real estate market conditions surrounding your investment
  • 5-star reviews on major sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Yelp
  • Experience building construction homes from the ground up and occasional house flipping

With an appreciation for local cultural events and renowned culinary scene, Jeanne Whipple knows what makes a place and community feel like home, and understands that those same things will likely make her clients and their tenants feel at home as well.

 

3. Kristin McFeely

Kristin McFeely Real Estate Agent Philly

Kristin McFeely, along with Jeanne Whipple, is another co-founder of Philly Home Girls. She has the knowledge, experience, and drive to help rental property owners find great investment properties. In fact, she has been a licensed Realtor® since 2005. McFeely further shows her expertise in her accreditation as a Certified Relocation Professional, meaning she has extensive knowledge in every aspect of employee relocation.

As part of the Philly Home Girls team, McFeely has:

  • Been welcomed into Coldwell Banker Preferred’s Diamond Society
  • Become a leader in the Coldwell Banker Preferred Mentor Program
  • Become one of the highest ranking real estate agents on Yelp

If what you need is a passionate person who thrives on road trips, architecture, and all things real estate, Kristin McFeely is the one to call.

4. Giovanni Carpino

Giovanni Carpino Real Estate Agent Philly

Giovanni Carpino is not only a licensed real estate agent, but a broker as well, meaning he brings lots of education and experience to the table when it comes to finding you an investment property. As a Realtor® for Remax Eastern, Inc., Giovanni prides himself in having rave reviews about his services on Zillow.

Here’s what you’ll experience when hiring Carpino. He:

  • Promises prompt response times to all clientele and interested prospects
  • Was born and raised in Mayfair
  • Seeks to make purchasing property less stressful for all involved

With a deep understanding of real estate, Giovanni Carpino can find just the rental you are looking for, in a minimal amount of time. His motto is: “I open doors for you to close.”

 

5. Jennifer Grosskopf

Jennifer Grosskopf Real Estate Agent Philly

Representing clients looking to invest in real estate since 2006, Jennifer Grosskopf is a licensed Realtor® with an in-depth knowledge of the current market trends. Understanding the neighborhoods, pricing trends, and inventory at any given moment, Jennifer uses her industry skills to get you the deal of a lifetime.

Grosskopf offers:

  • Personal one-on-one service to all clientele
  • A solid grasp on modern technology and utilizes it to her advantage
  • Guidance to property owners every step of the way in a stress-free environment

Bringing her own personal experiences with relocating to build her career, Grosskopf understands the need to trust your real estate agent. If you are looking for a reputable real estate agent that is a source for all things real estate, Jennifer Grosskopf may be just who you need.

6. Chris Baker

Chris Baker Real Estate Agent Philly

Born and raised in Philadelphia, it is safe to say Chris Baker knows a thing or two about what rental property owners, and their future tenants, are looking for in a property. In fact, he has lived in Rittenhouse Square, Fishtown, and Queen Village, to name a few, and knows each neighborhood intimately. With a passion for the city’s diversity, Baker prides himself in understanding the marketplace.

You’ll be happy to hear that Baker:

  • Embraces a hands-on approach to finding you the rental you need
  • Seeks to forge lifelong relationships that you can utilize throughout your landlord career
  • Works with first-time buyers and seasoned portfolio holders with the same care and attention

If you are looking for someone that appreciates what Philadelphia is made of, and is dedicated to helping property owners make excellent purchasing decisions, consider using Chris Baker for your real estate needs.

 

7. Laurie Phillips

Laurie Phillips Real Estate Agent Philly

Laurie Philips is a highly experienced real estate agent. Selling real estate for 37 years, she specializes in luxury, multi-million dollar homes. To add to that, she is well known amongst national architects and developers.

By hiring Phillips, you’ll be promised that she:

  • Sells exclusively in Philadelphia and has a deep understanding of the real estate industry
  • Offers unparalleled customer service making clients feel at ease about their large purchases
  • Is dedicated to a select few clients – this ensures you receive her utmost attention

Earning many top honors and distinctions across her real estate career, Phillips was most recently designated as the #1 Individual Agent in the Philadelphia Region for BHHS Fox Roach Realtors® (2015). She also has the awards of Top Producer in Philadelphia, Top Lister in Center City, Top Seller in Center City, along with many others. If you are looking to invest in a high-end rental property, Laurie Phillips is the one to call.

 

8. Maria Quattrone

Maria Quattrone Real Estate Agent Philly

Maria is a native to Philadelphia, and was one of the first to set up a real estate team in the city. With extensive knowledge in sales and marketing, Maria knows what it takes to sell your property, what makes a quality property, and where in the city you will fare best. In fact, Quattrone earned a place amongst the 100 Most Influential Brokers in Pennsylvania.

Among her many strengths, Quattrone:

  • Has received the 5-Star Overall Satisfaction Award, which only the top 2% of Philadelphia real estate agents are privy to, among numerous other awards for her outstanding leadership and customer service
  • Demonstrates dedication to working as a team, thus boosting her success and client satisfaction
  • Is actively involved in local philanthropy, thus solidifying her ties to her community

Quattrone is one of the most well rounded real estate agents on the market today, and a successful one at that, with over $500m in sales earning to date. She loves the city she grew up in, and is committed to helping you find a great rental property for your tenants to call home.

 

9. Robin Gordon

Robin Gordon Real Estate Agent Philly

Robin Gordon is a lifelong Philadelphia resident that is very familiar with the city of her childhood, and its evolution. As a top-selling agent for the last 15 years, who has raked in $160 million dollars thus far in sales with her team, Robin brings a great deal of experience to the real estate industry.

You’ll be thrilled that Gordon is:

  • A proven networker, negotiator, and deal maker
  • Exceptional at marketing her client’s properties, as well as finding her clients new ones
  • Known for her quick response times and appreciation for the community at large

As one of the top 100 Realtors® out of 60,000 in the nationwide Prudential franchise system, as well as a mother, runner, and college student with a passion for architecture, Robin can help you find exactly what you are looking for in a rental property.

 

10. Jason Matthews

Jason Matthews Real Estate Agent Philly

Jason Matthews, of the Houzwer real estate agency, is the leader of the PA Suburbs team, covering Montgomery, Delaware, Chester, and Bucks Counties. Matthews works closely with a dedicated team of agents that all participate in helping you buy your rental property, as Houwzer’s approach to buying and selling real estate is unique. Each Houwzer agent focuses either on buying or selling – never both, thus allowing them to be more specialized.

With 15+ years of experience in real estate, and a 25-year residency in the western suburbs of Philly, Jason brings knowledge of the suburbs to potential buyers and sellers so they can find the right price or investment property for their needs.

With his experience, Matthews brings:

  • Dual degrees in Business Administration and Computer Science
  • A business mindset to close financially sound deals
  • Technology know-how to make it in this tech-driven world

Jason Matthews is also currently an Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE), Broker Price Opinion Resource (BPOR), and PA Notary Public – he is a real estate agent that you can certainly feel confident has the knowledge and skills to find you the right rental property.

 

11. Chad Eason

Chad Eason Real Estate Agent Philly

Chad Eason, also of Houwzer, is the Team Leader for their largest office in Center City. With experience helping to create local favorite Girard Gardens, and involvement in helping to spread Philly’s Bike Share program, Chad has a deep appreciation for the community he lives in.

Eason is known for his:

  • Enthusiasm for his community that spills over into his ability to help people find the perfect rental property for their portfolio
  • Strong, successful team that backs him during the entire buying and selling process
  • 100% focus on his clients

Because of his experience with local community projects, and the fact that he has an M.A. in International Development with an Urban Focus, Eason brings unique experience to the table that makes him one of Houwzer’s top real estate agents in Center Philly, and possibly the perfect agent for you.

 

12. Ashley Santee 

Ashley Santee Real Estate Agent Philly

Ashley Santee is the lead real estate agent of Houwzer’s New Construction and Investor division. With the help of Santee, Houwzer’s New Construction division typically sells properties within 36 days of listing, saves developers thousands thanks to their unique brokerage model, and has a track record of over $120m in overall sales.

Santee’s success is evident in her:

  • Skillset to compete in this highly competitive market
  • Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) certificate from RENI
  • S. in Design and Merchandising from Drexel University

Specializing in marketing new construction projects, as well as multi-unit projects, Santee ensures that people always know what great properties are available for purchase, or soon to be. Ashley Santee has the drive, dedication, and focus to help you choose the right investment property.

 

In Closing

Dealing in real estate – whether you’re buying or selling – can be much less stressful, and a lot more exciting, when you have the right real estate agent on your side.

We’re confident that you’ll be in great hands when you choose one of the talented agents we’ve highlighted above.

Have you worked with any of the agents on our list? We’d love to hear your feedback!


What Are the Responsibilities of a Property Management Company?

What Are the Responsibilities of Your Gaithersburg Property Management Company?

If you own rental property in Gaithersburg and self-manage your rental property business, you may be finding that there is a lot more to being a landlord than you originally anticipated.

And with that in mind, you may be thinking it is time to enlist the help of one of Gaithersburg’s top property management companies.

You may also be wondering to yourself what exactly a property management company is responsible for when it comes to your investment property. 

For those that are unsure whether investing in a property management company is a good idea, or for those that simply don’t know what a property manager is responsible for, keep reading.

Today we are going to give you the rundown on what an experienced, highly qualified property management company should offer you in terms of services.

 

What a Qualified Gaithersburg Property Management Company Should Do

1. Property Advertising

Property Management Company Should Advertise Property

One of the most important responsibilities your property management company has is advertising your vacant property to a high-quality tenant pool.

They should utilize a diverse set of platforms such as Craigslist, MLS, online classifieds, and even direct mail to expose your property to a wide group of prospects. They should also be available for those reaching out with interest.

 

2. Tenant Screening

All potential tenants should be thoroughly screened by your property manager. This includes background and credit checks to make sure they have no criminal background, previous evictions, or outstanding debts.

Additionally, your property management company is responsible for avoiding any discrimination when it comes to fair housing laws and screening potential tenants.

This is a key reason to enlist the help of a property manager. The last thing you want to do is be sued for unintentionally discriminating against an interested tenant.

 

3. Tenant Move-In

Property Management Company Handles Tenant Move-in

Here are some of the things your Gaithersburg property management company will handle at the time your new tenant moves into your investment property:

  • Legally compliant lease drafting according to your specific needs
  • Evaluation of local rent rates so your rent will generate income
  • Lease term start and end dates
  • Detailed move-in inspection with all parties, complete with photographs
  • Collection of security deposit and first and last month’s rent

Lastly, your property manager will provide your tenants with the keys to your property, as well as a welcome tenant package, complete with pertinent contact information, maintenance responsibilities, local area information, and possibly a small gift welcoming your tenant to their new home.

 

4. Maintenance, Repairs, and Complaints

Anytime your tenant has a maintenance or repair request, your property management company is the one to handle it.

And, if you choose one of the top property management companies in Gaithersburg, your tenants will have access to an on-call maintenance crew that is available 24/7.

Not having to take after-hours calls from tenants is one of the best benefits of enlisting the help of a team of property managers. Not only do they have the resources to handle emergencies, they take the pressure off of you and having to be available all the time.

It is also a good idea to look into a property management company that has a 24-hour hotline for tenants that have complaints or non-emergency issues. Again, not having to field these calls all night long is something you’ll love.

 

5. Rent Collection

Property Management Company Should Collect Rent

Receiving rent payments, tracking down those that haven’t paid, sending out rent reminders, and disbursing payments to you are another huge responsibility you place in the hands of your property management team.

In addition to collecting your rent money and handing it over to you, your property manager is also tasked with the job of initiating eviction proceedings, should your tenant fail to pay rent on time.

This includes filing paperwork to start an eviction, sending out proper notices, representing you in court, and even aiding in the removal of tenants, should the need arise.

 

6. Property Inspections

Making sure your property is being well cared for throughout the lease term takes a lot of effort.

That’s why having a property manager to conduct seasonal inspections is so helpful. Not only can they check to make sure everything is okay with your tenants (which is a great customer service method), your property manager can make sure your tenant is fulfilling their lease obligations.

Finding small maintenance issues and fixing them before they turn into bigger issues, reminding tenants of their tenant responsibilities, and finding out what would make your tenants happier are all things that will ultimately aid you in your quest for success as a property owner.

 

7. Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping Handled by Property Management Company

Property management companies have a duty to maintain all financial documentation as it relates to your rental property business.

Here are some things your property manager will likely handle while managing your rental:

  • Proper accounting of all rent payments collected, including receipts
  • Annual reporting of all financial statements, including a 1099 form
  • Monthly income/expense reports
  • Documentation of any payments made on your behalf (utilities, HOA, insurance premiums)
  • All maintenance estimates, work orders, and invoice/payment receipts
  • Yearly tax information for the property itself and the rental property business

While it can be helpful to hire on a separate accountant to help you with your yearly financials as they relate to your rental property business, know that an experienced property management company can handle most, if not all, of that documentation for you.

In fact, some property managers will even help you file your annual taxes so that you don’t have to hire external services.

 

8. Tenant Move-Out

Just as your property manager helped move your tenant in, they are responsible for helping your tenant move out as well.

When a tenant gives their notice to move out of your property, you property manager will likely inspect the unit as a whole to determine what damages the tenant has incurred.

From there, the following will happen:

  • Provide tenant with a detailed list of estimated damages
  • Return the remaining balance of your tenant’s security deposit
  • Re-key all locks and make any repairs
  • Clean rental property for next tenant that will move in
  • Place vacant property back on the market

 

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of Gaithersburg property management responsibilities.

Rather, it gives you a good idea of the scope of tasks a high-quality property manager will gladly take on while managing your rental property.

If you own rental property in Gaithersburg and have realized that self-management of your investment property is not right for you, get in touch with Bay Management Group today. We take great pride in our customer service-oriented approach to property management, and strive to provide you and your tenants the best experience possible.


How Can a Catonsville Landlord Break a Tenant’s Lease?

How Can a Cantonsville Landlord Break a Lease?

In the past, we have discussed the various reasons why your Maryland tenants maybe able to legally break their lease agreement with you.

Things such as being called to active military duty, being a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, and even things you do such as harassing your tenant, or failing to provide a safe and habitable place of living, are all legitimate reasons your tenant may initiate an early lease termination.

But have you ever thought about it the other way around, with landlords as the ones to break the lease agreement?

Today we are going to discuss the legal reasons a Catonsville landlord may break the binding contract they agreed to with their tenants at the start of their tenancy.

 

3 Legal Reasons a Catonsville Landlord May Break a Lease

Catonsville landlords should seek advisement from their property management company if they want to terminate a lease agreement early.

Since every state has their own set of rules and regulations, in addition to the federal landlord-tenant laws all property owners must abide by, it is important to consult with your property manager before quitting a lease agreement early, in order to avoid legal troubles.

That said, there are some general reasons why you may be able to initiate an early lease termination in Maryland that apply whether you own property in Catonsville or not.

 

1. Violations of the Lease Agreement

If your tenant repeatedly violates any terms of their lease agreement, you may legally terminate the lease with proper notice.

Here are the major violations that tend to force landlords to initiate an early lease termination:

 

Failure to Pay Rent

Failure to Pay Rent Allows Landlord to Break The Lease

If you use an experienced Maryland property management company, you should know by now that failure to pay rent on time, every time, is a major breach of the lease agreement.

And, if your property manager cares about the status of your rental property business, they will begin the eviction process as soon as your tenant fails to pay on time.

This not only reminds your tenants that you are serious when it comes to paying rent; it also protects you from losing too much rent income.

In addition, the minute a tenant feels you will not enforce the rules, they will begin to take advantage of you. That’s why administering the consequences, regardless of the reason rent is late, is so crucial to your success as a rental property owner.

 

Lease Provision Violation

There is a reason you and your property manager go through every line of the lease agreement with your tenant prior to move-in day.

This way, all involved parties fully understand what is expected of them throughout the lease term.

Lease provisions include things such as:

  • Rent collection
  • Pet policies
  • Maintenance and repair responsibilities
  • Rules regarding a tenant’s ability to alter the interior of the property
  • And more

If your tenant signs the lease agreement understanding the rules, and breaches that agreement, you have grounds to terminate the lease early.

 

Breaking the Law

Another common reason you may feel the need to terminate your Catonsville tenant’s lease agreement early is if they break the law on the property they lease from you.

Though your property manager should have included terms in the lease agreement addressing your zero-tolerance policy for things such as illegal drug use or any other criminal activity, you can still consider early termination without those provisions.

Again, consult with your property manager to ensure state and local laws support your reason for wanting to break the lease.

 

2. Property Damage

Tenant Damaging Property Allows Landlord to Break Lease

If your tenant damages your rental property, you may have the right to break the lease agreement with them early. However, be sure that the type of damage inflicted is grounds for an early lease break.

You cannot terminate a lease agreement for just any type of property damage.

Tenants are not responsible for damage to your property that is a result of normal wear and tear.

However, whether by accident or on purpose, any excessive damage, such as broken windows or flooded flooring due to negligence, is the responsibility of your tenant.

And, depending on the circumstances surrounding the damage, you might want to break the lease early with your tenant if the damage is serious enough.

 

3. To Sell the Property or Move-in

The Landlord Can Break the Lease to Sell or Move In

There are times when a landlord feels they need to sell their rental property, or move back into it and make it their primary residence.

But what if these feelings happen halfway through a tenant’s lease term? 

The only way you can break a lease early with your Catonsville tenant to sell your property or move back in, is to have this outlined in the lease agreement you both signed.

So long as your tenants agree to all of the lease provisions, and sign on the dotted line, you are legally able to enforce those provisions throughout the lease term.

This can apply to your wanting to sell the property mid-tenancy.

However, as mentioned before, it is important you know exactly what you are doing before initiating this process. The last thing you want to do is illegally break the lease term and reap the consequences of it.

 

Breaking the Lease the Legal Way

If you run into a situation where you want to initiate an early lease termination with your Catonsville tenant, make sure you have the help of your Maryland property management company so it is done properly.

Breaking a lease with your tenants is a process. And, it typically begins with proper notice of termination:

  • Pay Rent or Quit. For those times when your tenant refuses to pay rent on time, you can send them notice to pay rent within a certain period of time, (usually 3-5 days) or ask them to vacate the premises.
  • Cure or Quit. When your tenant is breaking a lease provision outlined in the lease agreement, and you want to break the lease early, you must first send them a notice with the option to cure the problem, or vacate the premises.
  • Unconditional Quit. This means there are no options for your tenant to pay up or fix the problem they are causing. Instead, they simply must vacate the premises within a certain period of time.

If you are a Catonsville landlord looking to break a lease early, chances are you will want to use an Unconditional Quit notice. That way, you can break the lease immediately, and move forward with finding new tenants to lease your rental.

In Maryland, the following amount of notice is required when delivering an Unconditional Quit notice to your tenants:

  • 14 days’ notice is required for tenants that breach the lease in a way that is dangerous to themselves, others, the landlord, or the property
  • 30 days’ notice is required for tenants that pay rent late 3 times in a 12-month period (though you must have won an eviction lawsuit for each instance of nonpayment)

 

As you can see, breaking the lease with your Catonsville tenants is possible, but there are things to consider before initiating the process.

If you own a rental property in the Catonsville region, and need help drafting a legally compliant lease agreement that addresses things such as early lease termination, both on the part of your tenants, and yourself, contact Bay Management Group today.

We can help you create a lease agreement that touches on all of the policies you want in place, help guide your tenants through the lease during the signing, and even offer tenant welcome packages to remind tenants of what they are responsible for while leasing your investment property.

When hiring Bay Management Group, you will know that your property is being well cared for, and that you have the legal backing to end a lease early, just in case.